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“Conscience of the Caucus,” “Champion of Civil Rights”: Sen. Yvonne Miller (D-Norfolk) Dies at 77

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Sad news.

Sen. Yvonne Miller, a Norfolk Democrat and the first African-American woman in the House of Delegates and the Virginia Senate, died this afternoon, a day before her 78th birthday.

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Miller, a retired professor at Norfolk State University, had been ill for some time with cancer.

Rep. Bobby Scott said that Sen. Miller “was a stalwart champion of civil rights,” that she “spent her life devoted to Virginia’s children and youth,” and that she “was a tireless advocate for reforming the way Virginia handles crime.” Sen. Donald McEachin called Sen. Miller “the conscience of the caucus,” adding that she “‘always took the side of those who were less fortunate, those who live in the margins,’ and was a champion for women’s causes and for racial equality.”

Definitely a “tough day,” as Sen. McEachin put it. Our deepest condolences to Sen. Miller’s family, friends, colleagues, and constituents.